100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

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What should I do?

Take the job + tuition $ + be happy
21
91%
Take the job + tuition $ + hope for BIGFED
1
4%
Take the job for 2 years + quit only for BigLaw summer
0
No votes
Don't take the job + get grades up
1
4%
 
Total votes: 23

Anonymous User
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100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:36 pm

Here's my info:
Offer: 2L PT student offered federal job. Benefits include paying final year of law school tuition + for LLM, if I go.
The Catch: Must work in job (legal related position but not attorney) through law school and for 1 year after graduation. 2 years if they pay for LLM in specialty. Taking the job and tuition assistance means I could not be a Summer Associate or participate in OCI.

Debt at Graduation: about $140,000 (30k undergrad at 2.9%)
Payment on graduation: $800/month starting; max $1.5k
Plan: IBR, PSLF
Income as Student: 80k 2L; $85k 3L; $95k 4L
Income Post Law School: first year $98k + bonus; gradually increasing 3-5k/year til $120k
Note: Grades slightly below median; T20

I am seriously wondering if a 100k+/yr PSLF federal job is better than going after big law given how few stay in big law more than 3-5 years and given my grades? Also, given my grades should I take the job and be happy to have one?

Edit - Side note: For those of you looking for fed jobs, my interviewer told me there were over 400 applicants for this job posting and 4 were selected. It's crazy competitive! Spelling corrections.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

arklaw13
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:44 pm

Is this a flame?

Take the fed job and never look back. Do you know how many biglaw associates would KILL for a fedgov job?

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:58 pm

Not a flame. Just not sure how many biglaw associates would KILL for a non JD required fedgov job? This job will not ever lead to working as an federal attorney. All my work would have to be reviewed by an attorney before it is made public.

Cogburn87
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby Cogburn87 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just not sure how many biglaw associates would KILL for a non JD required fedgov job?


rofl

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:11 pm

this must be flame. chances of getting biglaw coming from T20 at median are close to zero; biglaw is not an option for OP.

edit: okay, "close to zero" might be an exaggeration. but depending on your school, WE, ties, etc., your odds of biglaw are probably not greater than 50%. OP, if i were you i'd take take the job and never look back.
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

philepistemer
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby philepistemer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:15 pm

I think you should take the job. It's going to be very difficult to get something better at OCI.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Normally, pretty sure chances of getting biglaw coming from T20 at median are close to zero. I've reached out to a few biglaw attorneys in my specialty area in a niche area of fed regs. They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.

The fed job I was offered is in this regulatory area. If I took the job and my employer paid for the LLM, it would be in this specialty. I'm not saying my skills are rare enough to be in special snowflake territory. Hiring is definitely competitive. However, expertise in these regs is uncommon enough that it leads to a bump in hiring and salary for people in my specialty.

For those looking for a fed job or have received an offer, I was able to use Superior Qualifications and Special Needs Pay-Setting Authority (5 U.S.C. 5333/5 CFR 531.212) to negotiate a higher salary.

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversigh ... authority/

mvp99
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby mvp99 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:49 pm

This sounds like a great opportunity. My only concern would be to be laid off at will after abandoning other opportunities but it seems that you don't have many alternatives and this options sounds amazing. Is the offer to pay for you LLM etc on paper? What happens if they fire you 1.5 years in just cuz?

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jbagelboy
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:53 pm

Cogburn87 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just not sure how many biglaw associates would KILL for a non JD required fedgov job?


rofl


not sure why this is so laughable. I don't think every position with the federal government is better than private sector work. A post office clerk is a "fedgov job," as is an airport TSA officer, a US geological survey technician, and an entry level congressional aide. None of these are objectively superior to an associate position at a reputable law firm. Obviously OP's position is more desirable if it's that highly compensated, but still, the aura surrounding "federal government" work here in unwarranted.

It's really only the selective legal honors positions at certain branches such as SEC, DOJ, and State Dept that the traditional big law junior associate salivates over.

All that being said, I voted take the fed gov job and let them pay for the rest of your degree, as any reasonable person would. Biglaw is not an option here and even if it was, it wouldn't be worth it to incur the added debt.

Cogburn87
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or peruse legal job?

Postby Cogburn87 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:14 pm

jbagelboy wrote:not sure why this is so laughable.


Don't worry. Six months into biglaw you'll understand.

InTheHouse
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby InTheHouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:38 pm

They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?

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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:42 pm

I partly put this post up because I understand federal employment and benefits but I am fairly uniformed when it comes to legal employment.

Job loss is not a concern. After 1 year feds, rarely if ever lose their jobs. Layoffs are very, very rare. Once in federal job there is a 1 year probationary period where an employee can and sometimes does get fired if they are under performing. However, if the job is Permanent the employee receives career tenure after completion of three years of continuous service. Once and employee has career tenure there are protections against layoffs that give laid off career feds priority hiring for other federal jobs.

I'm transgressing here. Should I start a Q&A thread on federal hiring? I've been on the inside enough that I understand some of the nuances of USAjobs, Cert list, OPM policy, promotions etc. but I could not speak specifically to the Attorney (0905) job series. PM me if you think that would be helpful.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:12 pm

InTheHouse wrote:
They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?


My choices are take a $160k+ gamble with median grades at GULC or definitely make $100k upon graduation.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
InTheHouse wrote:
They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?


My choices are take a $160k+ gamble with median grades at GULC or definitely make $100k upon graduation.


It should also be clear $100k job is relatively dead end. Limited pay and skill growth after graduation.

InTheHouse
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby InTheHouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
InTheHouse wrote:
They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?


My choices are take a $160k+ gamble with median grades at GULC or definitely make $100k upon graduation.


Sorry. Thought you had $140k in debt.

I mean, the safe route is to take this this. My SO is a GULC grad. Seems like a lot of her friends who were out of the top third took 2-3 years to get settled into a stable, well-paying jobs. If you think you can tolerate the downside risk, go for it.

One other thing worth mentioning is that the reason all these people are finally landing on their feet is because the Murray-Ryan budget deal gave agencies the breathing room they needed to hire new staff (allowing people to leaving Biglaw for BigFed or go straight to BigFed). I don't know that the environment you're going to be graduating into will be as good. I wouldn't be surprised if you graduate into a federal hiring freeze courtesy of Calgary Cruz.

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northwood
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby northwood » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:40 pm

There is a saying that I believe is both appropriate and would be my 2 cents on this matter.The best time to look for another job is when you are currently working.

so take the job

InTheHouse
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby InTheHouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
InTheHouse wrote:
They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?


My choices are take a $160k+ gamble with median grades at GULC or definitely make $100k upon graduation.


It should also be clear $100k job is relatively dead end. Limited pay and skill growth after graduation.


No one is saying you have to stay there till you croak. Talk to your CSO and see if they can match you up with an appropriate mentor or two. Might help hearing from GULC grads who've had jobs like the one you've been offered.

InTheHouse
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby InTheHouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:48 pm

Assuming you turn down this job, what is that you want to do?

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:01 pm

The more typical law school/attorney path: externships, internships, summer associate job, work as an attorney.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
InTheHouse wrote:
They all flat out told me that my grades would a problem but since some biglaw firms, particularly in DC, are expanding in my specialty area that I might have a shot given my expertise and experience.


So your choices are take a $140k+ gamble with median grades at GW or definitely make $100k upon graduation?


My choices are take a $160k+ gamble with median grades at GULC or definitely make $100k upon graduation.


It should also be clear $100k job is relatively dead end. Limited pay and skill growth after graduation.


The only growth that matters for federal jobs is the career ladder. What grade does this position top out at?

InTheHouse
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby InTheHouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The more typical law school/attorney path: externships, internships, summer associate job, work as an attorney.


Well, I saw the more specific answer you posted earlier. If your focus is that narrow, just be prepared to tough it out for a while. Good luck.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:32 pm

InTheHouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The more typical law school/attorney path: externships, internships, summer associate job, work as an attorney.


Well, I saw the more specific answer you posted earlier. If your focus is that narrow, just be prepared to tough it out for a while. Good luck.


Thanks. I removed it because it had a little too much PII. I do have a job as a consultant in the narrower field. The Gov't job is in the field but less with less work in the area I prefer.

Anonymous User
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:48 pm


The only growth that matters for federal jobs is the career ladder. What grade does this position top out at?


Assuming I get all my grade step promotions (which I always have) I'd be a GS13S4 for the 1 year of service post graduation. I'd have to compete for a GS14, but the agency does have some. First level managers are GS15s which is not a job I am interested in.

thebobs1987
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby thebobs1987 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:

The only growth that matters for federal jobs is the career ladder. What grade does this position top out at?


Assuming I get all my grade step promotions (which I always have) I'd be a GS13S4 for the 1 year of service post graduation. I'd have to compete for a GS14, but the agency does have some. First level managers are GS15s which is not a job I am interested in.



Why can't you just take the job and then try and transfer to a legal job in your agency or a different one when you graduate? I worked in the Federal government before and while the legal jobs are harder to get, you could probably transfer to something more interesting after a couple years. I knew people that moved to different departments pretty easily. Having a law degree should make it easier

kcdc1
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Re: 100k Fed Job Offer (legal related) or persue legal job?

Postby kcdc1 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:33 am

The job you have been offered is likely much better than the biglaw job -- which you're not even likely to get. Hours, job security, benefits, quality of life. These are real things. PSLF is a real thing too. The options are not at all close. Take the job.




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